Time to transform the justice system

There is a lot to be done if we are to transform a justice system that all too often fails victims, survivors, perpetrators and the public, says the Scottish Green justice spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP.

The point will be made by Maggie as part of a Parliamentary debate on the Bail and Release from Custody (Scotland) Bill.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Maggie said:

“Survivors need the whole system to work for them. Incarceration of offenders is only one part of the justice, care, recognition and respect which they so greatly deserve. 

“There is a great deal of work to be done, both within and outside criminal justice, to transform a system that is currently failing everyone: victims, survivors, perpetrators and the public. That means focusing on reintegration and trauma.

“People leaving prison need to be able to access basic services: healthcare, social security and, most fundamental of all, appropriate housing. It is truly shocking that for many women, prison is seen as the safest place to be. 

“All too often prison is doing more harm than good. Locking people up is not a risk-free option. It is accumulating risk for the future – for that person and for their family, community and wider society. We are taking people who need care and punishing them for that need. 

“We also need credible non-custodial responses to crime, including more restorative and community justice. We need this bill, supported by frameworks of resource, cooperation and protection, to be part of the transformational change that Scotland both needs and deserves.”